Senator Carper Commends TSA and American Airlines for Joint Efforts to Keep Passengers Moving

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement commending the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and American Airlines for working together to bring state-of-the-art checkpoint screening equipment to airports across the country this fall, including Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Miami international airports. This announcement builds on the partnership between TSA’s Innovation Task Force and Delta Air Lines to launch the first “Innovation Lane” security checkpoint at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in May. The new Innovation Lane equipment improves screening efficiency by allowing passengers to move through the checkpoint up to 30 percent more quickly.

Last week, Carper met with TSA, airport, airline and law enforcement officials at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to discuss ways in which stakeholders can ensure security operations remain efficient during especially busy periods like the July 4th weekend and ahead of the start of the Democratic National Convention later this month.

“I have often said that aviation security is a shared responsibility. Now, with airports across the country seeing a record number of travelers, it’s more critical than ever that government agencies and private entities work together to find creative solutions to screen passengers efficiently without compromising their safety. I commend American Airlines for their announcement that they plan to invest in state-of-the-art security screening equipment at several TSA checkpoints across the country, to ensure passengers can move safely and efficiently.

“This latest collaboration builds on the good work done in May, when Delta Air Lines came together with TSA’s Innovation Task Force to launch the first ever ‘Innovation Lane’ security checkpoint in Atlanta. These public-private partnerships, along with other creative solutions including trusted traveler programs such as Pre-Check, are helping the agency and its stakeholders reduce traveler wait times without compromising security, even during especially busy periods like this past holiday weekend.

“In fact, TSA screened 10.7 million travelers between June 30th and July 4th, with Thursday and Friday being the highest-volume travel days we have seen since 2007. Even with this increase in passengers, DHS announced that the average wait time nationwide in standard security lines was less than ten minutes and those in TSA Pre-check lines waited less than five minutes. While processes can always be improved, the success seen this weekend is a testament to the strong leadership at TSA, the good work of the men and women on the front lines at our security checkpoints, and the valuable collaboration between private sector stakeholders and TSA.

“I urge all stakeholders to continue working together to find and develop innovative solutions to help make flights more secure, while also making the screening process less of a burden for passengers, airlines and airports.”